City Hangout – Exercise Trail, Deer Park
The language of health.
[Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi]
It’s not rocket science. Try deciphering the directives painted on the board:
• Stand erect
• Feet together
• Jump stride
• Bringing arms to shoulder level
Follow these, and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA)—its seal is painted on the board—might just help you become a “Jumping Jack”.
Tucked by the fashionable Hauz Khas Village, Deer Park, like most public gardens in the city, is managed by the DDA. The garden’s Swasth Path (health trail) is lined with a series of metal signages, each painted with the name of an exercise, accompanied with bulleted how-to-do instructions. See yourself some of the exercise names: Lateral Exercise, Balancing Beam, Straddle Walk, and the aforementioned Jumping Jack.
Certainly, you, dear reader, will be able to obey the instructions flawlessly, but some of us might find these as challenging as the lines of any convoluted Emily Dickinson poem. Take this random sample— “Lie down on bench, keep feet under strip, sit up, keep hand locked behind neck”.
A few steps ahead on the trail, a board pops up amid the picturesque wilds, saying:
Straddle Walk and Jump
• Walk stepping
• Either side of log
• Jump hurdlers jump of with both feet
Here’s another board:
• Swing left arm forwards
• Keep right elbow pressed back.
• Repeat same with other arm
While here, you may as well read this board too:
• Stand erect
• Legs apart
• Circle arms forward and backward
• Repeat alternatively
An expat living nearby once told The Delhi Walla that “the instructions for the exercises bring back memories of being at yoga ashrams in Kerala and Uttarakhand. We Westerners often have blind faith in the words of the yoga gurus as we contort our bodies into twisted knots. I would be happy to ‘push the poll repeat with right foot alternatively’ in my attempts to find my inner nirvana.”
And here is a must-see board advising the fitness fanatic to take a break.
“You May Relax Here:
Leave Your Body
Loose And Breath:
Be In A Easy Condition
And Tune With Nature”
Nearby, two lovers are sitting, holding hands, in tune with each other, and with the nature.